Top Estate Sale Finds to Buy This Weekend

For insights on an item's background or worth, don't hesitate to inquire with the estate sale personnel.

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Man looking at rare books at an estate sale

Estate sales are a treasure trove for those looking to discover unique, valuable, and sometimes rare items. From vintage furniture to collectible trinkets, these sales offer a glimpse into the past and an opportunity to own a piece of history. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most popular estate sale finds and provide tips to help you make the best purchases.

Vintage Furniture

Antique Eastlake Chest of Drawers from ReFindDesignCompany

Vintage furniture, especially from notable design periods like Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, or Victorian, is a common find at estate sales. These pieces not only carry historical significance but also offer quality craftsmanship.

Buying Tip: Always check for signs of damage or repairs. While some wear can add to the charm, significant damage can affect the value.

Antique Jewelry

From ornate brooches to classic watches, antique jewelry is a sought-after item. These pieces often carry stories from past generations and can be valuable based on their material, craftsmanship, and rarity.

Buying Tip: Always ask for any provenance or documentation that can verify the item’s age and authenticity.

Vintage Clothing and Accessories

Vintage 1940s Bowling Dress from HatfeathersVintage

Fashion enthusiasts often flock to estate sales in search of vintage clothing, hats, handbags, and shoes. These items offer a unique style that’s hard to replicate with modern pieces.

Buying Tip: Check for any signs of wear, stains, or damage. Ensure that the item is still wearable and in good condition.

Collectible Toys and Games

Antique Carved Chess Set from USSRovskyVintage

From vintage Barbie dolls to classic board games, old toys and games can be valuable, especially if they’re in their original packaging.

Buying Tip: Look for items that are complete, without missing pieces, and always check the condition of the packaging.

Art and Decorative Items

Antique Slag Glass Lamp from oGoodieShop

Original artworks, sculptures, and decorative items like vases or lamps are popular estate sale finds. They can add a touch of elegance and history to any home.

Buying Tip: Research the artist or maker before purchasing. Authenticity and provenance can significantly impact the value.

Rare Books and Ephemera

First editions, signed copies, or books from notable authors can be valuable. Additionally, old postcards, letters, and photographs offer a glimpse into the past.

Buying Tip: Always handle books and paper items with care. Check for signs of damage, such as water stains or torn pages.

Musical Instruments

From classic pianos to vintage guitars, musical instruments are a delightful find. They can be valuable based on their brand, age, and condition.

Buying Tip: Always play the instrument, if possible, to check its sound quality and functionality.

Kitchenware and China

Vintage kitchenware, like Pyrex or Fire King, and china sets from notable brands can be both functional and collectible.

Buying Tip: Check for any chips, cracks, or signs of repair. Complete sets are often more valuable than individual pieces.

estate sale tips

  • Always set a budget before attending an estate sale.
  • Research items before purchasing to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.
  • Arrive early for the best selection, but consider returning on the last day for possible discounts.
  • Always ask estate sale staff if you have questions about an item’s history or value.

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